Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Real Time 24 Recap Hour 5

Hour 5

There are times when you just shake your head and bow to the master. This is by the Tropichunt.com Guy on Dave Barry’s blog.

*Frank Sinatra's "New York New York" begins playing*

Start stabbing the thighs/Jack’s killing today/He wants to be a part of it/New York, New York!
These C4 bomb shoes/are longing to slay/Right through the very heart of Jack/New York, New York!
He wants to shoot at a thug that doesn’t sleep/And find the thrill of the kill – ammo’s so cheap
Those boring plot blues/are wasting away./Jack’ll make a brand new start of it/In old New York!If they can - kill Jack there/They’ll kill him - anywhere!It’s up to Jack/New York, New York!

This was one of those 24 episodes in which they spent a lot of time on people you could care less about. The Russian Mobster’s sons. One is dying from radiation exposure and the other takes him to a doctor he knows someone in the Metro New York area that you can get to in twenty minutes that is also sort of in the country-ish suburbs. On this day, traffic is great. The brothers do not speak in a Russian accent, unlike like their dad.

And the Redneck plot reared its ugly head again. The Not Really That Hot Tech has a past. It seems that she was associated with a hot headed red neck that robbed banks. He was caught and did Hard Time, while she ran off to New York, changed her name and got all fancy with this gubment job. He wants her to help him make one more big score and then he’ll leave her alone.

But that plot is excitement city when compared with Islamic Republic President Big Hair and his wife yakking about their martial problems about hour after he almost got blown to bits. It is a real yawner. On top of that, due to his brother trying to kill him, President Big Hair is rounding up all of the opposition and killing them because that is all they understand. President Taylor doesn’t understand any of this, but then again, she’s not the sharpest Presidential steak knife.

Meanwhile, Jack and Agent Freckles were trying to cauterize a severed thumb with what looked like hydrogen peroxide. Anyway, Freckles calls the thumb-less Russian a cry baby because he had his thumb cut off with a circular saw. Now that is one tough broad.

Freckles persuaded this man to take her to a Russian named, now get this, Vladimir. While she drives the thumb-less Russian to meet Vladimir, Jack is on the phone with Chole to get their “back-story” about why Freckles wants to buy some uranium. In the back-story, Jack’s name is I.P. Freely.

As the song in the 80’s said, one thing leads to another and Vladimir shoots the thumb-less Russian and puts a gun to the head of Agent Freckles all the while Jack is trying to drive to Newton Creek. Yes, the same Newton Creek you’ve heard sung about all of your life.

While Jack is listening through that neat device CTU has that enables him to listen to Agent Freckles unless she is in a trunk of a car, he hears her give a sob story about her life to Vladimir. Oh, cry me a river Freckles. Anyway, he spares her life so we can see her next week walking around in towel.

Bonus Material:

New nickname of other cast members:

Director Brian Hastings = Director Bubba

Cole Ortiz = Chico, Jr.

Monday, January 25, 2010

This and That

This is a little humor exercise called, “This and That”. I make comments about various topics but do not have enough creativity to flesh out an entire piece about any of the subjects.

I got the idea for doing something like this from Larry King’s Columns for USA TODAY.

“Nobody asked me, but I think peanut butter goes well with jelly…..Clark Gable had big ears….I never do a crossword in pen….basketball players are very tall…It seems to me that Pepsi is here to stay.”

So here is my ….This and that.

*I watched some of the “red carpet” coverage on E of the Screen Actors Guild awards. Go ahead, question my sexuality. My wife likes looking at the dresses and I am always amazed about the lack of clothing women will wear on a special occasion. I would just once like to see an actress say, “I got this dress at Penny’s”.

Then we watched the award show itself. It seems that actors give themselves a lot of awards just for playing pretend.

*The Barack Obama administration will have a BSB and an ASB demarcation: Before Scott Brown and After Scott Brown.

*Every President becomes unpopular somewhere in the life of his administration. It remains to be seen how President Obama handles this. So far, I would say his William Jennings Bryan act rings hollow.

One positive outcome of the Scott Brown election is to see Chris Matthews actually take on Democrats again, just like he did back in the Clinton days. He burned Howard Dean and destroyed that goofball Alan Grayson. It was refreshing to watch.

While I’m at it, isn’t pretty safe to say that MSNBC’s attempt to be Bizzaro Fox has failed? No one listens to Rachel Maddow or Ed Shultz and Keith Olbermann appears to be legally insane.

I’m not saying Fox is all that. I’ve come to like O’Reily. Hannity is nothing special to me. Beck is clearly as insane as Olberman. But, Brett Baier is about as down the middle as you can get. The Fox All-Stars has good, concise commentary and made a TV star out of a paraplegic former psychiatrist that used to work for Walter Mondale.

*My wife asked me today who Lady Ga-Ga was. I know she is a “singer”. I couldn’t pick her out of a line up. Yes, I have my AARP card. Why do you ask?

*One of the things I noticed during the “Climate Gate” debate was the argument that even though the numbers,et al, might have been fudge, don’t worry—we’re still going to die.

*Finally, since I work, I usually do not stay up and watch any of the late night talk shows. To me, Johnny Carson is “The Tonight Show”. Jay Leno will always be a guest host.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Real Time 24 Recap

Hours 1-4

Let’s review we are in regards to 24.

When we last left Jack Bauer, he was lying in a hospital bed dying due to exposure of some really bad something. His only hope (and ours) was his mentally/emotionally challenged daughter would do some sort of bone morrow/DNA/ procedure that was experimental and hasn’t really worked yet, but it was the only hope besides carting him off to Benny Hinn.

The President of The United States survived an attack of frogmen from an African country (don’t ask) and found out her daughter was part of the plot against the country. President Allison was married to Henry who was shot in the gut at about 5:00 in the afternoon, but was managing to be sitting upright in the Oval Office the next day.

Chole survived, even though she is a mommy. Bill didn’t.

In the first four hours of this year’s 24, there has been one hand sawed off, one shot in the thigh, and one serious can of whoop-butt has been laid out however none has been administered by Jack Bauer.

I could review each hour of the four hour season premier. But I missed one of the hours because FOX decided that it was more important to show Human Target at 8:00 and I feel asleep during the second hour of 24 and missed the season’s first thigh shot. Human Target was dreadful.

The first thing that struck me about 24 is that Jack is almost a human in this season. He has a granddaughter and watches FOX News. You can almost hear Jack complaining about “Obama” and “Health Care”. You can see him call Chole to have the President’s birth certificate sent to his PDA.

Jack mentions to his daughter that he is going to move out to California to be near them. A man wanting to live near is daughter and granddaughter. Very normal. Jack has a friend with a security company that Jack can do some consulting work for. Not normal.

First of all, Jack has a friend that is alive? This man is a walking angel of death. Anyone that gets close to him dies, particularly friends. At the very least, they turn screwy.

Second, what type of consulting tips would he give a security firm besides thigh shooting?

This year the show is in New York after a brilliant year in the nation’s capital. Apparently, at least in the first four hours, the legendary New York traffic is no longer heavy and presents no problem for the CTU.

CTU is somewhere in the city that never sleeps, but it looks like it is across the river in New Jersey. Since everyone ever associated with CTU besides Jack and Chole are dead, we have new associates to learn.

One is a blond tech that thinks she is hot, but she really isn’t. She has some kind of trailer trash past and her ex is a Reddddddddneck. The blonde tech is engaged to a Jack Bauer in training played by Freddie Prinze, Jr. Just once I hope he answers a duty request with, “Hey, not my job man”.

There is a new boss since Bill is dead. The new boss walks hunched over like he has the weight of the entire country on his shoulders.

The old President is back (24 has had some real winners). She’s in talks with the leader of a Middle East country about disarming that country’s WMDs. They sit in the same room, in desks, five feet about from each other and speak into microphones.

Oh yes, the Middle East leader has a little somethin’ somethin’ for a reporter who may or may not be a mole. But the good news is that we now know his brother is one and the Russian Mob is involved. It turns at, that in a country of 205 million people, there is only one person that can infiltrate the Russian Mob: Agent Freckles.

Agent Freckles is Renee Walker, last year’s hot FBI agent that lost her boyfriend and now she’s transformed into this Female Jack. She’s got Jack worried. He’s all editorial page of The New York Times compared to her. Just to prove to how crazy she is, she sawed off a Russian’s hand. Then she sang “Pants on the Ground” as required by law on every FOX show every 15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Parent Discussion: On Private Colleges

Besides the large state colleges and universities, there is a creature known as the “private” college. They are called “private” because it means they can charge a lot of money. Ha. Ha. More College humor for you. Private colleges are not paid for by the tax payers of a state, but rather by the student’s parents and by people best described as “wealthy”. There are many types of private colleges.

The Ivy League

The Ivy League is a set of several colleges in the Northeast that you can not get into. Harvard, Yale, Brown, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, and Cornell. To give you some idea about the cost involve at going to one on these schools, Dartmouth reports on their website that the cost of 2009-2010 school year is $49,974.00. So not only can you can’t get into them, you could not go there unless your dad was somebody famous like Thurston Howell III

If your child does somehow make it in to one of these schools, they are set for life, if they can somehow make enough money to pay off the college loans. I would advise them not to major in education or a liberal art, like Russian Literature or they will be the best educated waiter at Applebee’s.

The Just About Ivy League

Several universities like Northwestern, Emory, Vanderbilt, etc are almost Ivy League. In fact, they are just like the Ivy League colleges in price, the only difference being that they are not in the Northeast. Some of their football teams are better, too.

The good thing about the above schools is that you do not have to “explain” the school. I never heard anyone say, “I went to Notre Dame. It is a private Catholic school in Indiana”.

Which is more than what you can say about…..

All Of The Other Private Colleges

These are schools that aren’t really on many kids’ radar. These are the schools that kids stumble upon. “Hey, Harriet College. Lancaster, Minnesota. Home of the Nuclear Beavers. That might be fun.”

Many of these schools are associated with various Christian denominations. The denomination I belong to, The Southern Baptist Convention has about a million and one small private colleges.

One of my favorites is Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. You pronounce Ouachita as “Watch it taw”. Mike Huckabee went there. Really.

One thing I would caution parents and students alike is that there is a Christian school and there is a “Christian school”. Some of these schools have a loose affiliation with their denomination and it seems like just another college. While others, (I’m looking at you Liberty University) are more strict than other colleges when it comes to student behavior. For example, Liberty would be stricter than The University of The South. For some reason, Presbyterian schools seem to have a lot of partiers, almost up to Georgia Southern level.

Like most parents, I keep coming back to money. If your kid wants to go to a smaller private school, great. They tend to give out more scholarships than the big state schools and you may work it out where you are paying about the same as you would in a large state school.

One problem at the large state school is the large class size. My son took a class, in one of his weaker subjects, totally online because it was a required course and the school did not have the resources for everyone to be in a traditional setting, which would have suited his needs more. So for him, the small private college would have worked better. Also, in many large schools, the actual listed professor does not teach the course. It is taught by a Teacher’s Assistant (TA). Personally, if your kid gets a class taught by a TA, you should get a discount or at least some free spirit wear.

However, just because the class is small, doesn’t mean that the subject matter is taught well. I went to small colleges during my college career (and believe me, it was a career) and some of the professors couldn’t teach a dog to wag its tail. Due to the size of the school, the professors also have to teach courses that are in their basic subject matter, but outside their specialty. For instance, a finance professor might have to teach a marketing course. At a larger school, a finance professor would always teach finance.

So which is best for you and your kid?

One, and I know I’m sound cheap here, but price shop. If you can get into Harvard and can afford it, go for it. However, if you can’t get assistance in bringing the price down at a Ouachita Baptist ($25K per year), you probably would want to go to a state school.

Two, visit several schools if at all possible.

This is where we had issues. For some reason, we only made one visit: Georgia Southern. I wanted him to look at University of West Georgia, but he spent a couple of weeks at football camps there and simply did not like it. He also spent a week at a small Methodist school for football and I’ve been taking him to Kennesaw State basketball games since he was a little boy, so he had an idea of what he wanted.

Some schools, like Georgia Southern to its credit, actually want students to come there for school. Other schools act like they could care less if you come or not.

It is like any other business (and believe me, higher education is a business), the ones that act like they want students will get the students.

Three, check the alumni of the colleges. Not all famous people went to large colleges. Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College, which is somewhere on earth.

Fourth, check the reputation of the college. Find actual graduates. There is a website known as Student Review, which posts “reviews” of the colleges by actual students. Here are some of the reviews on Georgia Tech, which is probably one of the best schools for the money in the country:

came on this site before I decided to come here and thought "it wont happen to me." but this school is so bad. do not come here unless you're a major nerd and are prepared to have a lame social life. the professors suck and make the classes super hard.

Georgia Tech is just not a good university. I wish I got into Virginia Tech, I hear that school is much better.

If it’s really your only option and you're sure you want to be an engineer, just be prepared for a looonng period of suck

Imagine taking all the annoying people from highschool and sticking them in one college.

Do not take the bus, its slow. Do not eat the food, its bad. Do not come here, you will regret it.

My point is to never ask a student what they think about their college while they are going there. You will hear a lot of drama about the food (which totally sucks); the professors (it is amazing about how many professors actually suck) and other students (the suckiest sucks that ever sucked). At most college campuses, there are not many things that don’t suck. The only thing that sucks more is working for a living, but not many students are aware of that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Franklin Delano Obama

If the current President was the President on December 8, 1941:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which we will soon forget as we go on with our lives—the United States of America may have been attacked by what appears to have been the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan, but we don’t want to jump to conclusions, unlike our predecessor who we won’t name but rhymes with “cush”. I have instructed everyone in my cabinet to write me a ten page paper, describing who could have attacked Peal Harbor. I expect it doubled spaced with the proper margins and footnotes.

The Empire of Japan ought to know that we are sorry for whatever we have done or whatever we will do (and I’m looking at you Hiroshima). I know that if we were in your shoes, we may have perhaps have done the same thing, if we had the opportunity. But know this: if it does, by any happenstance that you might have bombed our Pacific naval fleet, we will write you a terse letter describing how we might feel at that given time although we will probably feel bad about it later.

Additionally, we have been informed that the Japanese have attacked Hong Kong, Guam, Yadda, Yadda. So, a reasonable person, might be able to deduce that Japan has undertaken surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. But let me clarify, this is not the only interpretation one can have on these events. I have asked Vice President Joe Biden to look at these events and give me whatever crazy thoughts might be running around under those plugs of hair [laughter]. I will listen carefully to them and then disregard them.

Just because I am the commander in chief, it doesn’t mean I have to throw around my weight all willy-nilly. No, I don’t have to bomb things like the former occupant of this office who obviously has this “Daddy Complex” that he never confronted. And this also does not mean that I am giving up on health care reform, which will be the centerpiece of my administration, after Cap and Trade and the Stimulus.

No matter whatever happened at Pearl Harbor, I want the nation to know that being mad will never get you anywhere and maybe, just maybe, if I could sit down with a Miller Lite with Hirohito, we can work this out.

With confidence that we are a pretty cool people and with the right tools we can get a lot of things done, we will triumph, perhaps. So help us God, if you are into that sort of thing.

Therefore, I ask Congress to cool its jets and lets take a wait a see attitude about this thing. After all, there is an ocean between the U.S and Hawaii.